In the book speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, the main character Melinda is a dynamic character. Through out the school year she changes from being silent and withdrawn to someone who stands up for themselves confidently. Melinda is a freshman who, was raped at a party by a senior and called the police. When school starts she has no friends anymore because everyone thinks she called the police because kids were drinking. She tells no one about being raped. She keeps this secret until she begins to lose herself and becomes depressed, self abusive , and isolated. One of the things that Melinda learns about herself is that her wounds are on the inside. She learns that she has been broken and it is not her fault.
Melinda begins to see herself differently when she ends up at a hospital while skipping school and she realizes that she is not sick. “ I pick up a gown. I want to put it on and crawl under the blankets and white sheets in one of those high off the ground beds and sleep. How long would it take for the nurses to figure out I don’t belong here?” (Anderson p. 113)
Melinda begins to see herself as not as sick as some other people. She realizes that her sickness is on the inside where people can’t see it. Melinda only friend was Heather a new girl from Ohio, who had no friends either. Heathers main goal is to be popular and tries to get Melinda to go along with her. She broke up with Melinda because she blames Melinda for her not becoming popular. Heather has broken off her friendship with Melinda but wants her help to decorate for the prom. Melinda tells “no”. “That’s not what I mean , I mean no, I wont help you.” (Anderson p.179) This reveals that Melinda is beginning to speak up for herself. She starts with someone that she does not care for. Even though Melinda hasn’t spoken to Rachelle all school year, she is concern that Rachelle is dating Andy Evens. Melinda demonstrated her change of character by telling Rachelle she was raped. “The time has come to arm wrestle some demons.” (Anderson p. 180) This reveals that Melinda is ready to come out of the closet about what happen to her.